Understanding King Lear: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004 - Britons in literature - 183 pages
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Considered one of Shakespeare's most powerful dramas, King Lear, with its combined elements of political and domestic tragedy, is as interesting to today's readers as it was to Elizabethan audiences. While the play's intricate plot and timely themes can be challenging to students, studying the play in its historical contexts sheds a great deal of light on important dramatic elements and topical references. This casebook was prepared to help students understand the literary and historic issues in King Lear, as well as its contemporary applications. Readers are introduced to the work with a Dramatic Analysis focusing on genre, character archetypes, themes, and sources. Excerpts from actual historical and literary sources demonstrate how King Lear incorporates elements of fairy tale, legend, and history as it alludes to the political controversies of Shakespeare's day. The final chapter in the casebook helps readers appreciate the thematic relatedness of King Lear to contemporary issues by focusing on the treatment of the elderly in our own society.

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Dramatic Analysis
Geoffrey of Monmouth The History of the King of Britain c 1135 in The British History of Geoffrey of Monmouth Ed J A Giles Trans A Thompson
Raphael Holinshed Chronicles of England Scotland and Ireland Vol 1 1587
Sir John Wildgoose letter to Lord Cecil 1603 in Historical Manuscripts Commission Calendar of the Manuscripts of the Most Honorable The Marques...
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm The Goose Girl at the Well in Grimms Household Tales Trans Margaret Hunt 1892
The True Chronicle History of King Leir and His Three Daughters Gonorill Ragan and Cordella c 1594 Ed A F Hopkinson
Sir Philip Sidney The Countess of Pembrokes Arcadia 1590 Ed Oskar Sommer
Aristotle The Poetics c 330 BC in Aristotles Theory of Poetry and Fine Art Trans S H Butcher
A Midsummer Nights Dream
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
The Geneva Bible
Juan Luis Vives The Instruction of a Christian Woman Trans Richard Hyrde 1529
Bartholomew Batty A Christian Mans Closet Trans William Lowth 1581
Eight Treatises 1622 Treatise 5 Duties of Children
Eight Treatises 1622 Treatise 6 Duties of Parents
Henry Swinburne Treatise of Testaments Part 5 1635

Samuel Johnson Afterword to King Lear 1765 in Johnson on Shakespeare Ed Walter Raleigh
That way madness lies Insanity in Shakespeares Time
Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Ed A R Shilleto Vol 1 1893
Anonymous TomABedlam 1682
Thomas Dekker The Belman of London 1608 in The NonDramatic Works of Thomas Dekker Vol 3 Ed Alexander B Grosart
Sir Thomas More The apologye of Syr T More Knyght chapter 36 1533
Sir Thomas Elyot The Castle of Health 1541
John Case The Praise of Musicke 1586
Thomas Dekker and Thomas Middleton The Honest Whore part 1 1605
Thomas Tryon a treatise of dreams and visions To which is added a Discourse of the Causes Natures and Cure of Phrensie Madness or Distraction
15351860 A History presented in Selected English Texts Ed Richard Hunter and Ida Macalpine
Kingship The Responsibilities and Weaknesses of a Ruler
Or the Reciprocal and Mutual Duty Betwixt a Free King and His Natural Subjects 1598 in The Political Works of James I Ed Charles Howard McIlwain
Basilicon Doron 1599 in The Political Works of James I Ed Charles Howard McIlwain
King James A Speech to the Lords and Commons of the Parliament March 21 1609 in The Political Works of James I Ed Charles Howard McIlwain
King James I A Speech to the Upper House of Parliament Monday March 19 1603 in The Political Works of James I Ed Charles Howard McIlwain
King James I A Speech to Both Houses of Parliament March 31 1607 in The Political Works of James I Ed Charles Howard McIlwain
Sir Roger Wilbraham The Journal of Sir Roger Wilbraham in The Journal of Sir Roger Wilbraham 15131616 Together with Notes in Another Hand ...
Francis Osborne Esq Some Traditional Memoirs on the Reign of King James I 1658 in The Secret History of The Court of James the First Vol 1
Sir Anthony Weldon The Character of King James 1650 in The Secret History of The Court of James the First Vol 2
Nicolo Molin Report on England presented to the Government of Venice 1607 in Calendar of State Papers and Manuscripts Relating to English Affai...
According to my bond Family Ties in Shakespeares Time
Henry Smith A Preparative to Marriage and Two Other Sermons 1591
Eight Treatises 1622 Treatise 7 Duties of Servants
Adaptations A Tale Retold
Nahum Tate letter to Thomas Boteler in Nahum Tate The History of King Lear 1681
Nahum Tate The Final Scene in Nahum Tate The History of King Lear 1681
Ron Carlson King Lear in Zebulon County 1991
Russell Smith Film Review of A Thousand Acres 1997
David Ng Review of Ran 2001
Contemporary Application Treatment of the Elderly
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke NINDS Alzheimers Information Page
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke NINDS MultiInfarct Dementia Information Page
President Ronald Reagan letter to the American people 1994
Former First Lady Isnt Sure Former President Even Recognizes Her 2002
Part I
Beth Witrogen McLeod Caring for a Parent Did I Do Enough? 2000
Part II
Stephanie Smith Musician Helps Alzheimers Patients 2001
Home Away from Home Relocating Your Parents 2003
Lori Burling Health Care Facility Takes New Approach for Dementia Patients 2003
Part III
An Alzheimers Journal Ed Jack Henderson Main Ruth D Henderson and Nancy Andrews Photographs by Nancy Andrews 1998

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Page 32 - This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are sick in fortune, — often the surfeit of our own behaviour, — we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars...
Page 19 - A play, in which the wicked prosper and the virtuous miscarry, may doubtless be good, because it is a just representation of the common events of human life: but since all reasonable beings naturally love justice, I cannot easily be persuaded, that the observation of justice makes a play worse ; or, that if other excellences are equal, the audience will not always rise better pleased from the final triumph of persecuted virtue.
Page 66 - The State of Monarchy is the supremest thing upon earth. For Kings are not only God's lieutenants upon earth and sit upon God's throne, but even by God himself they are called Gods.
Page 41 - With a heart of furious fancies, Whereof I am commander : With a burning spear, And a horse of air, To the wilderness I wander ; With a knight of ghosts and shadows, I summoned am to Tourney : Ten leagues beyond The wide world's end ; Methinks it is no journey...
Page 15 - ... pity is aroused by unmerited misfortune, fear by the misfortune of a man like ourselves.
Page 18 - So powerful is the current of the poet's imagination, that the mind, which once ventures within it, is hurried irresistibly along.
Page 25 - Is man no more than this ? Consider him well. Thou owest the worm no silk, the beast no hide, the sheep no wool, the cat no perfume. Ha ! here's three on's are sophisticated ! Thou art the thing itself : unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor, bare, forked animal as thou art.
Page 38 - From the hag and hungry goblin That into rags would rend ye, All the spirits that stand By the naked man, In the book of moons defend ye! That of your five sound senses ~ You never be forsaken; Nor travel from Yourselves with Tom Abroad, to beg your bacon.

About the author (2004)

DONNA WOODFORD is Assistant Professor of English at New Mexico Highlands University.

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